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Asok: I am always tense and I don't know why. Wally: It's the tyranny of expectations, Asok. People still expect you to add value. Competence is a vicious cycle. Asok: Can you teach me to be useless like you? Wally: It's better if I don't so you can learn by example.
Alice: I feel so rested and relaxed after my vacation. I wonder how long this afterglow will last because... excuse me while I check this text message. Dilbert: Is it too late to start timing it? [Alice is on fire]
Boss: Why aren't you working in your cubicle? Wally: Sitting increases my risk of obesity, cardiometabolic disease, cancer, stress, depression, and cognitive dysfunction. Boss: I had no idea sitting was so dangerous. Wally: I know. Imagine if I tried working.
Wally: How's it feel to be the hardest-working employee in engineering? Alice: I feel tired, sore, exhausted, sick, angry, stressed out, and lonely. Wally: You probably don't want to know how good it feels to be useless.
Boss: So don't let that happen again. Dilbert: It wasn't my fault and you know it. Boss: It's easier if we don't try to link performance and outcomes. Dilbert: I'll try. It was hard at first, but now I'm totally stress-free. Wally: I just got a 30% raise.
Boss: Schedule your training during your lunch hours so it doesn't impact your projects. Dilbert: But... my lunch hour is the only freedom I experience in a typical day. The rest of my time is either scheduled to the minute or driven by whatever crisis is happening. Please don't take my lunch hour and reduce me to nothing but a prisoner in a digital chain gang. I'm barely clinging to my illusion of free will as it is. This could push me over the edge. If you take away my one hour of freedom in the day, I might as well be a robot. Boss: Relax. This is temporary. Dilbert: For how long? Boss: Until I can replace you with a robot.
Dilbert: I have too much work, and it's stressing me out. Boss: I've been reading about this sort of situation. Try writing don all the things that make you feel grateful. Dilbert: That would be more work! Boss: For your anger issues, try keeping a journal of all the times you lose your temper. Dilbert: That would be more work! Has anyone ever taken your advice? Boss: Do you know the guy in Marketing with the eye patch? Dilbert: He followed your advice? Boss: Half of it.
Dilbert: I don't know how you are stress-free when we have so much work to do. Wally: It's all about understanding percentages. No matter how hard you work, you will never finish even two percent of what needs to be done. The financial rewards of doing two percent of your work are identical to doing none. It's also a good idea to volunteer for several projects so everyone thinks you're working on the other ones. Your problem is that you're doing actual work for no good reason. Dilbert: My problem is that I'm doing your work plus my work! Wally: It's only two percent more work, you whiner.
Dilbert: I hacked into your fitness band and analyzed your decision-making under different conditions. When you are hungry, tired, or stressed, you make terrible decisions. Boss: How often is that? Dilbert: Only when you're awake.
Boss: Did you finish the software yet? Dilbert: No, I'm still paying off the technical debt from the last programmer you rushed. Boss: I don't know what that means. Dilbert: Well, that explains a lot.